Super Bowl champion Mitch Petrus has died at the age of 32.
The former NFL player, who in 2012 won the Super Bowl with the New York Giants, died of a heat related illness on Thursday, July 18.
Petrus passed away at 10.45pm, after he was taken to Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock, in Arkansas. His cause of death has been listed as heat stroke.
We just received tragic news that former Razorback offensive lineman, Mitch Petrus passed away from a heat related illness. He was 32. pic.twitter.com/u4kTqt1YHE
— The Hawg Talk Podcast (@TheHawgTalk) July 19, 2019
As reported by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, County Coroner Gerone Hobbs stated Petrus had reported feeling unwell after working all day outside as well as in his family’s Lonoke County shop. Temperatures in the area had soared above 90°F, and a heat advisory had been issued.
Tributes have poured in for the American football guard, who played for the New York Giants, the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans during his fantastic NFL career.
The official account for Arkansas Razorback Football, where Petrus once played as a standout guard, tweeted:
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mitch Petrus. He was an outstanding competitor, incredible teammate and a true Hog. He will be greatly missed by many. Rest easy Mitch.
ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen tweeted:
We are grieving the loss of Mitch Petrus, a close friend of our family, especially my son Alex. He was all SEC guard for @RazorbackFB and played on @Giants 2011 Super Bowl champion team.
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mitch Petrus. He was an outstanding competitor, incredible teammate and a true Hog. He will be greatly missed by many. Rest easy Mitch. pic.twitter.com/pMToZaWmc3
— Arkansas Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) July 19, 2019
We are grieving the loss of Mitch Petrus, a close friend of our family, especially my son Alex. He was all SEC guard for @RazorbackFB and played on @Giants 2011 Super Bowl champion team. 💔🙏🏻 https://t.co/6FSjQzJXDh
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) July 19, 2019
A standout footballer during his high school years in Carlisle, Arkansas, Petrus set a state record for tackles, earning 39 as a linebacker according to Heavy.com.
Petrus began his prestigious career as a walk-on for the University of Arkansas before being drafted by the New York Giants in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
He went on to enjoy a three-year NFL career, winning a Super Bowl with the Giants during his second season before playing for both the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans the year after. Petrus had returned to central Arkansas in 2013, following his retirement from the NFL.
As well as being a gifted sportsman, Petrus was known to have a talent for music; playing guitar in a band called Vikings of the North Atlantic.
The Razorback Family has suffered a loss of one of its own with the sudden passing of former @RazorbackFB and NFL player Mitch Petrus. I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to his family, his teammates and all who were blessed to be a part of his life in some way. #RIPMitch pic.twitter.com/5Bm3JZjQRM
— Hunter Yurachek (@HunterYurachek) July 19, 2019
I can't believe Mitch Petrus died. He and I spoke a lot when I covered the Razorbacks and he was playing for and winning Super Bowls with the Giants. He once told me, "offensive line is about winning the chaos," and he was pretty good at it.
— blank (@TJCarpenterShow) July 19, 2019
RIP Mitch Petrus. Sad to see young athletes pass like this. Be safe in this heat everyone, it is deadly.
— August 19th 🦊🍂☕️ (@LordChugga23) July 19, 2019
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mitch Petrus at this difficult time.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.